4x4s We Want To See On The Trail
Every year we see more and more radical concepts from automotive manufacturers and just when we think they’re about to build one of the coolest trucks we’ve ever seen, it disappears before our very eyes never to be seen again. It doesn’t seem fair; there’s certainly enough interest in specialty or unique vehicles that we should be able to bring back some faithful classic off-road trucks as well as some modern day concepts that have been left on the back burner over the years. We’re willing to bet that you’re of the same mentality as us and want to see truck manufactures build something for those of us who like to hit the dirt in our spare time. As such, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most awesome wheelers we think the manufactures should either bring back or build, and not in the distant future – we need these like yesterday! Check out our list of eleven trucks we would want to see out wheeling in the dirt in the near future!
Chevy K5 Blazer
Images like this are pretty common on the internet so we’re pretty sure it’s a safe bet that off road enthusiasts want to see the two-door K5 Blazer make a comeback. We’ve been pretty bummed that GM decided to stop building the fullsize Blazer because simply put, it was an awesome truck that could be built to wheel some moderate trails in relative comfort while still being able to haul a few extra buddies around during road trips. Granted getting in was a bit of a chore if you were riding in the back but the reality is it’s not all that difficult to do. If you can’t easily accomplish a simple task like that, you should probably turn in your man card now. We’re really digging the new front end on the new Silverados and Sierras and there’s no question it would look ten times better if it was on the front of a new generation K5 Blazer.
GMC All Terrain HD Concept
This was one of the concept trucks that GM debuted at the 2011 North American Auto Show and it’s not too far from what the new GMC Sierra looks like so this one is actually closer to being a reality. The GMC All Terrain HD concept was powered by a 397-horsepower 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel mated to an Allison 1000 six-speed automatic and if GM followed the same recipe, this would be a surefire winner in the off-road world. We will concede that the All Terrain HD concept would be a lot cooler if it came with a solid front axle to actively compete against the Power Wagon… unless of course they gave it a long travel suspension to finally dethrone the Ford SVT Raptor!
Jeep J-12 Concept
Retro concepts seem to be pretty common these days but that’s not the case in the truck world which is why we were blown away when we first saw the Jeep J-12 concept truck. You can’t get much cooler than a J-truck and Jeep really nailed it when they brought this real world concept out to Moab a few years ago. The truck was very similar to the classic Gladiator pickups but had some cool modern touches such as a 285 Horsepower Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine, an air conditioned cab and power windows but somehow the guys over at Jeep realized it just wouldn’t be right without a bench seat, which they custom made as well! One of the coolest things is that they didn’t sacrifice off-road performance and instead stuffed a burly Dynatrac ProRock 44 front axle as well as a Dynatrac ProRock 60 rear axle with ARB air lockers under the J-12 concept and finished it off with FOX Racing remote-reservoir shocks in the front as well as FOX Racing piggyback reservoir shocks in the rear. The J-12 was based on a production JK chassis which is all the more reason we should be able to buy this cool concept right off a dealer lot!
Jeep Mighty FC Concept
The Mighty FC concept was well received by pretty much anyone with a pulse. This thing is just wicked cool and rightfully so since it was built as a true forward control Jeep with a few off-road touches thrown in for good measure. The Mighty FC featured portal axles, 39-inch BFGoodrich Krawlers and 9.5-inch-wide Hutchinson Rock Monster beadlock wheels as well as a no-nonsense drop-side-style steel cargo box that was sourced from Tafco Equipment Company.
The Mighty FC was based on a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon two-door model that was stretched 20 inches at the center of the frame rails while the forward control cab was built out of a modified JK Wrangler front cab section with a custom nose cone section as well as 10-inch-wide carbon-fiber fender flares. The Mighty FC also featured a heavily modified Hanson front bumper with an integrated Warn 16.5ti winch as well as Warn D-rings and IPF 930 Super Rally off-road lights. The recipe for this concept was dead on right down to the color that was chosen for it which was PPG Gray Blue paint that was meant to resemble a mechanic’s shop shirt. Sure the Mighty FC might make for some interesting wheeling since you’d be riding right over the front wheels but that’s just one of the many cool characteristics that this unique little concept has. We think it’s safe to say many wheelers would definitely be interested in buying this awesome modern forward control jeep.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer We found this image floating around on some of the Jeep forums on the web and couldn’t help but think this was a cool idea. It looks like somebody photoshoped a Wagoneer front end on a Jeep Commander and we think it looks pretty cool. It just goes to show that even everyday enthusiast believe that Jeep should bring back the full size Jeeps. Heck, even if they were the size of an old XJ, as long as they looked like a retro Wagoneer – it would be a winning combination. We hope Jeep takes note of this and starts building these awesome FSJ’s once again!
Jeep Nukizer 715 Concept
The Jeep Nukizer 715 concept was built to show Jeep enthusiasts that Jeep was on the same page as them when it came to building trucks meant to handle the stresses of off-road driving. There’s no denying the Nukizer 715 is a complete bad ass on the trail. The Nukizer 715 was built as the modern day interpretation of the classic military Kaiser M-715. This concept was based on a military-spec J8 four-door that was converted into a pickup using an AEV Brute bed. The wheelbase was also stretched eight inches yielding a 124-inch wheelbase. Under the hood you’ll find the J8’s 2.8-liter I-4 turbo diesel engine that has been programmed to deliver more horsepower and torque to help keep the 38-inch BFGoodrich KM2 tires moving through rough trails. To handle the stresses of the much larger tires, the Jeep engineers stuffed a Dynatrac ProRock 44 axle as well as a Dynatrac ProRock 60 rear axle, both of which feature 5.38 gears and an ARB Air Locker. While we admire the fact that Jeep had the guts to go way out on a limb and build this awesome concept, we are a bit disappointed that they haven’t realized they can actually sell these in great numbers to not only the off-road community, but also the average consumer that’s looking for a midsize truck that can haul a few loads while delivering decent fuel economy.. like say… that of a 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine!
Jeep Rescue Concept
Some of you might not even remember the Jeep Rescue Concept that Jeep did way back in 2004. This was one big behemoth of a Jeep. It was essentially a giant full size version of a Wrangler and was built on a ’04 Dodge Ram 2500 platform and even featured a 5.9-liter HO Cummins Turbo Diesel engine that put out 325 Horsepower while delivering 600 pound feet of torque to an NV5600 six-speed manual transmission that sent all the power to a huge NV273 T-case which split the power to the front and rear ¾ Ton AAM solid axles. This thing was definitely an off-road beast that could do pretty much anything you wanted. The Jeep Rescue concept also featured 37-inch run flat tires which eliminated the need for a spare.
One of the coolest things about the Rescue was the onboard tire-pressure control system that allowed you to air down right from the comfort of the incredibly spacious cab. If you’ve never seen this concept before you might even think it resembles the current four-door JK Wrangler since the body lines seem to mimic each other quite nicely but the fact of the matter is this was built well before the JK was and it was a whole heck of a lot bigger and cooler too!
Dodge Ram T-Rex Concept The Dodge Ram T-Rex concept was one of the wildest ideas that Dodge ever had. The T-Rex was powered by a high powered 12:1 compression 8.0-liter V-10 that pumped out 497 Horsepower and 593 pound feet of torque. All that power was deemed necessary to keep the T-Rex moving with all six wheels clawing away at the terrain to conquer pretty much anything in its path. Not only was this a monstrous truck, the bed was also a fair bit larger than the factory long bed Ram, measuring in at 8 ½ feet long.
Granted this truck would be too overly complex to really justify bringing it to production but it’s still cool to know that Dodge... sorry - Ram Trucks, is not opposed to thinking outside of the box. All we can say is that we’d love to putt around some cool trails in one of these 6x6 T-Rex trucks if Ram ever decided to build one, and who knows, maybe they will, seeing as though Mercedes’ AMG G63 6x6 was pretty well received when it debuted a few months ago.
Dodge Powerwagon Concept The Dodge Powerwagon concept has to be about the meanest looking truck ever! It was built on a regular-cab frame with ¾ Ton running gear, a modified RamBox cargo bed with ’10 Ram dualie bedsides and a 383 Horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine that lays down enough power to spin all four 40-inch BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires through any terrain without breaking a sweat.
This truck couldn’t have been built better and was absolutely perfect in every way, shape and form so to say we’re a bit disappointed that it hasn’t gone into production yet is a big understatement. This truck is just way too cool to not be offered to the general public – Ram should seriously consider building these even as a limited production run!
2011 Bronco Concept We’re pretty sure none of you have ever seen this before since we just happened to create our own version of what we think a modern 2011-present Ford Bronco fullsize would look like. The more we look at it the more we think the Bronco should never have been put out of production after 1996. Even today the last generations of Broncos are still dominating the deserts of Baja! We realize a two-door SUV would be a hard sell for the general public but this isn’t something that’s meant for everyone. They are meant for those of us who enjoy playing with our trucks in the dirt while being able to carry our gear and a few friends comfortably when venturing off the pavement. If they offered this with the same 411 Horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 engine out of the Raptor, it would be an unstoppable off-road beast!
2004 Bronco Concept If you’re a fan of early Broncos, and everyone except hardcore bow-tie guys are – you were probably excited when you saw Ford showcasing something with the Bronco nameplate on it back in 2004. Although the Bronco concept looked fairly aggressive, it was relatively tame as far as power figures go since it was supposed to be propelled by a 128 Horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. We really aren’t all that impressed by that or the fact that it seemed to have IFS as well as IRS, but rather that Ford is not above building such an awesome retro off-road SUV.
In our opinion, it would be great if Ford built something similar to the early Bronco, maybe even a bit roomier than the first generation ones but as long as they offered it with a 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 and solid front and rear axles, it would be one hell of an SUV! The biggest issue we think could prevent Ford from building this is that the vast majority of new truck buyers want a crew cab even if they end up riding by themselves 99-percent of the time. Aside from this we think it would be awesome to see Ford jump into an off-road competition for supremacy against Jeep by building a retro Bronco to compete against the Wrangler JK. Ford, your move!
So what do you want to see the manufacturers build or bring back?